Featured Post


Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Interview - Merged by Jim and Stephanie Kroepfl #YASciFi

Are you currently binge watching anything on Netflix, Hulu (or elsewhere)? What keeps you glued to the screen?

We just finished the second season of “Stranger Things.” They did a great job of primarily making it a middle grade story, but the adults also had their own storyline which, importantly, still allowed the kids to solve the mystery and save the world. We love science fiction which has just enough plausibility that it could actually happen. And, all stories should contain some level of humor.

Do you prefer movies or TV series?

We tend to go for movies over TV series when it’s cold and snowy out. The structure of a good movie is very similar to that of a book, and we spend a lot of time analyzing movies to improve our craft. And, we love being carried away on a cinematography-enriched adventure, which very few TV series can pull off.

When it comes to reading do you prefer standalones or series?

Series are fun, as long as each book has a real ending. There’s nothing so frustrating as reaching the last chapter only to discover the story abruptly ends without any resolution whatsoever. We’ve stopped reading those authors.

Do you prefer to start new book series when the first book is released or do you want for a several books in the series to be released so you can binge read?

We tend to read the book in a series when it’s first released. Partly because we want to be on top of all the new things coming out, but also, we’re not patient enough to wait to read a great book. That’s why it’s so important to subtly remind the reader what happened in the previous story, because it’s often been years since they’d read it.

What are some of your hobbies, interests or guilty pleasures?

We have a two-year old rescue dog, Finn, who won’t let us forget our daily walks around the lake, which is a very good thing for all of us. Jim is a singer and guitar player, and plays locally in the duo “Martin and Taylor,” named after their guitars. Stephanie is an artist, and during football season she cheers on the Broncos while knitting socks for her friends and family. We both love traveling in Europe and getting immersed in the different cultures.

What's your guilty “nerd” pleasure?

We love “Star Trek”—all of them. The original TV show, the later shows (although we like “The Next Generation” best), the movies (good and bad), especially the last two Star Trek movies. Also, we’ll watch any movie about aliens or travel to another planet.

Have you ever peeked at the ending of a book?

Never. Seriously. Even the thought feels like sacrilege.

When it comes to your own writing are you a plotter or a pantster?

After throwing away literally hundreds of pages over the years, we’re now solidly in the plotter camp. We use a large corkboard and index cards, and spend a lot of time plotting out the story before writing it. This is especially important because we write together. We have to be in synch about what the story is about, where it’s heading, and how it ends. This allows us to divide and conquer. And, we never get writer’s block. We each grab a card and that’s our homework assignment.

Jim and Stephanie Kroepfl

Genre: Science Fiction
Publisher: Month9Books

Date of Publication: September 17, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-948671-34-7

Number of pages: 293

Cover Artist: AM Design Studios

Tagline: Great minds don’t always think alike.

Book Description:

Seven of our country’s most gifted teens will become Nobels, hosts for the implantation of brilliant Mentor minds, in an effort to accelerate human progress.

But as the line between what’s possible and what’s right draws ever blurrier, the teens discover everything has a cost.

Scientists have created an evolved form of living known as Merged Consciousness, and sixteen-year-old Lake finds herself unable to merge with her Mentor.

Lake, the Nobel for Chemistry and Orfyn, the Nobel for Art, are two from among the inaugural class of Nobels, and with the best intent and motivation. But when Stryker, the Nobel for Peace, makes them question the motivation of the scientists behind the program, their world begins to unravel.

As the Nobels work to uncover the dark secrets of the program’s origins, everyone's a suspect and no one can be trusted, not even the other Nobels. 

As the Mentors begin to take over the bodies and minds of the Nobels, Lake and Orfyn must find a way to regain control before they lose all semblance or memory of their former selves.

Mr. Blue points to the document. “Sign this and change your life. Or don’t. It’s up to you.”
“What happens if I say no?”
“The Darwin Corporation will remain your legal guardian, but you’ll lose the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to become one of humanity’s greatest hopes.”
So basically, he’s saying I’m stuck here either way. “Will I always be locked up?”
“That depends on your choices.”     
I wait for him to crack a smile. He doesn’t.
I break eye contact and flip to the last page. There’s one short paragraph stating that I’ve read the forty-one-page document (which I haven’t), I understand the risks (which I don’t), and I buy into the idea that two minds are better than one (or something like that). At the bottom, there’s a line with my name printed below it.
“Is it dangerous?” I ask, really wishing my voice hadn’t cracked.
Mr. Blue hesitates, and for a moment he almost appears human. “Every medical procedure has its risks, but the end result could change the world. And you’ll be one of the few who have the ability to change it.”
What if I could become the next Michelangelo? I’ve been given the chance to create art that makes a difference. For now, and even hundreds of years to come. “What else can you tell me about Bat?”
“He’s very successful,” Mr. Blue says, taking a pen from his suit pocket. “And he’s dying.”
“Can you give me a little more than that?”
“He specifically chose you.”
Nobody has ever chosen me.

I grab Mr. Blue’s pen and sign the document using the name I’m adopting. If I’m going to share my brain with someone and become a ground-breaking artist, I’m doing it as Orfyn.

About the Authors:

Jim and Stephanie Kroepfl are a husband-and-wife team who write stories of mystery and adventure from their cabin in the Colorado Rocky Mountains. When they aren’t dodging moose, their story ideas appear during their walks with their dog, who far prefers chasing balls to plotting novels. Jim and Stephanie are world travelers who seek out crop circles, obscure historical sites and mysterious ruins.

Rafflecopter giveaway